New Program to Help Businesses Promote Quitting Tobacco

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is launching a new effort, Way to Quit Certified, with the help of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce to educate business owners about the tobacco cessation tools available to their employees.

Employees who smoke have about twice the lost production time per week than non-smokers, and more than 70%* of current Utah smokers have a desire to quit. The Way to Quit Certified training is free and offers three levels of certification for Utah businesses:

  • Bronze: Human Resources staff are trained on what cessation resources are available for employees.
  • Silver: Businesses complete the Bronze level. Upon completion, the trained business promotes the Way to Quit free services.
  • Gold: Businesses complete the Bronze and Silver levels of certification. The trained worksite implements a tobacco-free worksite.

“We are excited to work with local businesses and increase access to our quit services for all Utahns. Quitting tobacco is hard, building supportive communities is a proven way to help those ready to quit to be successful in their attempt,” said Karlee Walker, program manager for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at the UDOH.

Not only does smoking affect productivity, smoking and smoking-related illnesses can cost employers $6,000 per smoker in healthcare costs, presenteeism, and absenteeism. Way to Quit Certified does not require businesses to get smokers to quit, it just gives them the tools that they can share with employees who are ready to make an attempt.

“The Salt Lake Chamber is delighted to support the Utah Department of Health and the Way to Quit Certified effort,” stated Derek Miller, president and CEO. “Healthy employees are good for business. We want to support our fellow Utahns who want to quit, and help businesses get trained on the available tools to create a supportive environment at work for a positive impact.”

To learn more about Way to Quit Certified and to arrange for training, email [email protected].

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Media Contact:
Ryan Bartlett

*Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Salt Lake City: Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data and Informatics. Note: Recent changes to the BRFSS survey methodology provide more accurate estimates of the burden of tobacco use nationwide and in Utah (landline and cell phone (LLCP) inclusion; raking used for data weighting).